San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature Connection[BRCC San Diego Natural History Museum: Herpetology Department]


Research Activities
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San Jacinto Resurvey


Living with Rattlesnakes
Listen to Brad Hollingsworth on KPBS These Days with Maureen Cavanaugh.


The Department of Herpetology focuses on the study of amphibians and reptiles. Resources are available to scientists to help better understand amphibian and reptile biology and conserve species when their existence is threatened. The great diversity of amphibian and reptile species is preserved for scientific research in the form of alcohol-preserved and skeletal specimens. The herpetology collection holds over 70,000 catalogued individuals dating back to the 1890s. Over 57% of the collection comes from California and Baja California, making it one of the largest resources for this area. The collection is well represented with specimens from throughout the southwest United States, northwest Mexico, and islands worldwide. All cataloged specimens are computer databased which allows for any combination of taxonomic and geographic records to be searched.

We are supported, in part, by the Laurence M. and Grace G. Klauber Endowment for Herpetology. The Curator is Bradford Hollingsworth, Ph.D.

Volunteer Opportunities
Unfortunately we are not accepting volunteers at this time but we will be looking for people to assist in our ongoing department renovations starting in September. In the process of this project, volunteers gain valuable experience in the identification of amphibian and reptile species, learning geographic distributions, and getting exposure to the science of systematics. The herpetology lab is temperature controlled in the low 60s and all specimens are stored in ethanol, a strong smelling preservative. To apply complete the volunteer/intern application on this website.

Spiny tailed iguana and red diamond rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber) photos by Brad Hollingsworth.